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TORONTO, April 6 (Reuters) - The Canadian currency was driven lower versus the U.S. dollar on Monday morning due largely to a turnaround in equity futures, which now pointed to a lower open and dampened investor appetite for risk.
U.S. equity futures now suggest a lower open after a broker downgrade of tech bellwether Cisco (CSCO.O). [ID:nN06382017]
At 8:05 a.m. (1205 GMT), the Canadian unit was at C$1.2333 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.08 U.S. cents, down from an overnight high of C$1.2225 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.80 U.S. cents.
The sudden drop in Canada's dollar came even as the price of oil, one of the nation's key exports whose price often dictates the currency's direction, rose towards $54 a barrel.
"Basically the theme is as usual, the market is going to follow what happens in equity markets and use that to determine the price direction in FX markets," said George Davis, chief technical strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
"So with equity futures shifting from positive territory to negative territory that has helped push the (U.S.) dollar a bit higher here to start."
The Canadian dollar was only slightly off Friday's session close of C$1.2304 to the U.S. dollar, or 81.27 U.S. cents. (Reporting by Frank Pingue, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)